What we're up to: Oct 21, 2014 edition

Hey community! We’ve been a little quiet for a while, and I’d love to turn that around, and share a bit more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Spark, for those of you who are interested.

Here’s a taste of some of the things that we’re working on.


Our embedded team (@satishgn, @mdma, and @BDub) have been working on two major threads on firmware. The first was a quick fix to some recent I2C issues that developed in firmware v0.3.3, which is now complete and will be pushed out to the web IDE tomorrow as part of firmware v0.3.4.

The second major task has been to prepare our firmware libraries for NEW HARDWARE. The firmware team has been working on implementing a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) so that our firmware is a bit more hardware agnostic; @mdma proved this to the team by compiling our firmware libraries and running them on his laptop (which kinda blew my mind). If you’re interested, follow the feature/hal branch in our firmware repo:


You may also have noticed that our firmware has been renamed just firmware instead of core-firmware! That’s because soon it’ll be running on more than just the Core. Also, when we release our next major version of firmware (v0.4.0), it will no longer be in three separate repositories, but will be combined to just one, which will make local development easier to manage.


The hardware team (@mohit, @BDub, @will) has been hard at work on our next dev kit! We’ve got our own development units put together, and cosmetic prototypes of our latest product, for release in just a couple of weeks! More details on that soon.


The cloud team (@jgoggins, @dave) has been spending a lot of time recently working on scalability. @jgoggins has made it his personal goal to ensure that anytime a piece of our cloud platform crashes, the system can easily recover, which will lead to a more reliable system and will let the cloud team sleep easier at night. They’re also working on load balancing our services so that we can more easily scale horizontally, serving the theoretically infinite number of devices you guys are all coming up with.

@dave has been focusing his time working on an IFTTT integration! Yes, it’s coming. We are working on completing our OAuth implementation (which @zachary has been driving) so that we can properly integrate with IFTTT. At this point we’re probably a few weeks away from this being done.


We’ve put the web IDE on hold for a while as we’ve applied some resources to making it easier to do development on your local machine. With @suda’s help, we’ve been building you guys a local installable IDE based on Github’s Atom project. Think of it as a cross between the Arduino IDE and Sublime Text, but with all of the cloud magic built in.

This project is approaching completion, and we hope to be sharing it with you soon!

Other stuff

We recently moved into our new office in San Francisco! We call it Sparkhaus. It’s a total mess, but we’ll share pictures soon.

We’re talking to lots of product creators (including many of yourselves) about upcoming Kickstarter campaigns and the like; if you’re working on something awesome, we’d love to hear about it!

That’s all for now; would love to hear more about what you guys are working on, so don’t be a stranger!


This is one of those rare occasions where I both :star: the thread and :hearts: the post. I’m excited about everything mentioned here. Really looking forward to the IFTTT integration. Are there still plans to implement webhooks in the Cloud? :cloud:

And of course, we’re all anxious to hear more about new hardware. :smile:


Great question! Yes webhooks is still in the works; we’ve held off on shipping it to get IFTTT pushed out, but it’s in private beta now and we’re using that as an opportunity to test and gather feedback

1 Like

My hardware guess would be Spark running on the TI CC3200 SoC.

Anybody else what to have a guess?

1 Like

Sounds plausible… I’d like to use the HAL and see about putting it on an Intel Edison as well!

Though the Intel Edison actually has a full Linux kernel with node.js pre-installed… The dang tiny little thing could be a spark server! :slight_smile:

1 Like



ESP8266 for 5$… It will be new big step for SPARK CORE :slight_smile:

Can I get SparkOS for my iPhone 4S? Since I installed iOS 8, it feels like I’m running a 16 MHz Arduino when I’ve become so accustomed to 72 MHz goodness!


sure, just install this on your iPhone:


Looking forward to the release myself! I have been using the cores for so many projects! Better hardware is so exciting. Hope all’s well in SF Spark Team!